• Shona McCarthy

Recommendations for Akihabara

(Image from Unsplash.)

When I first visited Akihabara, I was very ill-equipped. I had taken a very large suitcase with me, since I was just leaving the area, and as a consequence, I couldn't go anywhere that wasn't on the street.

But I am told Akihabara is one of the great technological meccas (or should I say, mechas?) of the world, with the streets lined with Otaku culture and buildings full of electronics to buy. So when I saw that Magical Trip were offering free online tours of the area, I decided I'd have a look, too, even dressing for the experience.

Magical Trip usually runs real world tours in person, but with the advent of Covid-19, they have started to run online virtual tours of multiple locations. And since it only costs $21 to attend, it's a great saving compared to how much it would cost to physically visit the same place. For me these tours have been a wonderful way for me to revisit locations I might have seen before, but with the ability to see the insides of places I might not have otherwise felt comfortable visiting. And since the virtual tours are live, you can ask the tour guide questions, or ask them to let you see something a little closer. And if you feel shy, you can type your questions into chat instead of saying them aloud. It can be said to be a more eco-friendly way of doing tourism as well, since you won't actually need to fly there.

(Image from Unsplash.)

My recommendations are that you prepare some Japanese food to eat while watching the tour. Maybe put on some anime shirts or surround yourself with the Japanese merchandise you might own to make the experience more immersive. You'll also want to make sure you're logged on to a strong wifi connection to make interruptions less likely, and have an image editing program ready, since you might want to take "photos" as you go in the form of screen captures. To make it feel more like a tour, I actually used the camera function in my phone to photograph my screen.

Another tip I'll offer is that you want to make sure you have checked your time zone correction. Magical Trip will tend to message you with the local Japanese time for the tour. So you will have to see what time it would be in your own country.

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(Image from Unsplash.)

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